Souvenir Centennial Celebration: Bethel Baptist Institutional Church Golden Jubilee

About the Project

The Bethel Baptist Institutional Church is one of the oldest Baptist congregations in Florida. Earliest services were held on a plantation 1838. The congregation included many slaves from surrounding plantations who would require a special day pass that allowed them to travel safely to services. During the Civil War, the church building was used as a hospital for the Union Army. After the war, white members of the church attempted to take over the congregation and remove the African American congregants. These African Americans took their case to court where a judge ruled in their favor. Today, the congregation boasts well over fourteen thousand members. This document is a souvenir program from Bethel Baptist Institutional Church's Golden Jubilee. The souvenir shows the lasting legacy of such an important church in the community and African American life. Learn more by transcribing the celebration marking the history of one hundred years of service.

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